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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                                245
island. At the same place we find the northern limit of
Casuarina equisetifolia, the most northerly species of the
family of Casuarinea, which is chiefly confined to Australia.
The Indian species is extensively cultivated throughout Ben-
gal. On* the low islands along the coast the vegetation is very
scanty, and chiefly consists of creeping grasses, with Dilivaria,
Exc&caria, Tamarix, Rhizophorea, Acrostichum aureum, and
a Composite shrub.
Our knowledge of the flora of these provinces is chiefly de-
rived from Roxburgh's ' Flcra Indica f many of the most in-
teresting species published there having been communicated
to him from Tippera and Chittagong, Our own small col-
lection, which was made in the months of December and
January, amounts to about 600 species.
The province of Arracan is a iisarrow belt of land, 290
miles long, hemmed in between 1$e sea and the Aeng or
Youmadang range of mountains, which lies very near the
coast. It is traversed from north to south by a large river,
navigable for a considerable distance into the interior; and
by numerous-smaller rivers, all of which have ti'!:J. channels,
and form a sort of delta along the coast, wt tch is skirted by
many islands. From the proximity of the mountains to the
coast, and their considerable elevation, the rain-fall is very
great, amounting to 160" and 180 inches annually.
The botany of Arracan is quite unknown, and the climate
of the interior is very unhealthy. Along the sea-coast are
forests of mangroves, and there is in all the valleys very exten-
sive rice cultivation, the plains being inundated during the
monsoon. Tobacco of superior qxtality is also cultivated. The
mountains may be expected to produce the same plants as.
are found in the Malayan peninsula, to which the dimate ap-
proximates very closely:; they are clothed with heavy forests
and bamboo jungle. The gamboge is $aid to be ibu&d in the